Lost the will to play - what to do?



Well, I’ve done 10+ years, and my shrink/therapist has given me up, so I’m prolly one of the rarer cases? I don’t think so. Therapy does help, but what I learnt is that it only gives some coping tools, and this also only if you’re lucky and if you‘re proactively looking for something. I definitely recommend therapy, but rather as a path of self-exploration and -improvement, not as an “easy fix”, and definitely not with just “a little” talk therapy.

:policeman: Oh … please refrain from telling other people to shut up, that’s, uhm, the mods’ job.


I agree, but the full truth can be a hard sell in a society that is intolerant of difference and of disability. Your description of your lack of interest in go sounded like a very mild depression,so that’s what I said. If you recognize that you have a deeper clinical depression but aren’t happy with your treatment, find another doctor. You have a right as a patient to find a doctor you trust, one who resonates with you and helps you.

Also, be sure to check out non-medical interventions, such as any of the many forms of meditation. Many of my meditation clients have recovered from depression and other stress-based disorders by practicing effortless and natural mental techniques for a few minutes twice a day. Eliminating stress stored in the nervous system can fix problems and answer questions and issues by getting at their root and providing real solutions based on dissolving internal stress instead of getting lost in external issues and symptoms.


As long as armchair psychologists are offering diagnoses, it should be noted that days have been getting shorter during the time of your malaise; consider seasonal affective disorder. Have you experienced similar downturns in the past? Bright light therapy is proven to be effective; you might get a response faster than from antidepressants. Also, St. John’s Wort is an herbal that, I’ve read, is prescribed in Europe.

But there are other medical conditions that can have such symptoms. If it’s really unusual for you and not remitting, see a doctor. It’s also wise to have a specialist rather than a internist diagnosing and prescribing if other medical causes are ruled out.


Jesus, what’s with the graveyard attitude? :smiley: You guys are giving me depression and I was fine before now. I am glad you are such a caring bunch and it’s prudent to note the possibility, but come on :smiley:


He’s the one who asked for group therapy…

I think it would be remiss not to give you the same caring advice given your admission of distress.


Thanks for the concern, but I doubt that this is depression related. I wake up early, go to work, have fun there and good enough focus, my family or friend relations are also not deteriorating (what I assume can happen when one is depressed). I don’t complain more then usual :stuck_out_tongue:

I think this is really more go related (I hope). Won’t read the depressions symptoms though, as I’m a mild hypochondriac :slight_smile: would probably find most of the symptoms in my life if I read them a few times and think hard enough :smiley:


Some people do lose the will to play after a vacation or a break. At such times it is advisable to just play casually and will a calm mind. Eventually, one gets the will to play like before. I also had the same attitude towards playing when I had left my gaming equipment at home and went to study at a different place. After I returned, I was totally bored by playing video games because I had inculcated other hobbies. My elder sibling bought some additional resources for my console and periodically played with me. Eventually everything became fine.


Kajmaj87, you sound to be a solid person with a full life, but perhaps one that places a high value on being the best you can be, which translates to perfectionism, which becomes ratings focused, which becomes unfun and leads to burnout. You fear leaving the game for any substantial period of time (weeks to months) because you’ll return less sharp, less honed, and your wins and rating will suffer. In short, you’ll lose all your gains! Yet, if you keep playing as you are, the games become unimportant, you become listless, directionless in the games…in a word, uninspired.

The solution is to ruin your OGS rating on purpose…I know, it sounds ludicrous, but it works. I’m not saying to throw a dozen games. Instead, I’m echoing what someone above mentioned…play with reckless abandon, like a new player. If your style is territorial, go and fight, fight, fight! If you tend to get corners, instead play the middle board. Say to yourself, for example, I’m going to play ten games each with emphasis on walls…walls, walls, walls! Who cares if you lose rank…you can have the fun of climbing back if you desire…but I bet you’ll learn a lot about the game and yourself in the meantime.

Remember this: life is short, and we are not clawing our way to our pinnacle personal-best kyu rating so that it can be etched on our tombstone. No one but you will ever remember if you were ten kyu or one dan, so play the game for what it is: simply a fun, cool board game.


Hi @kajmaj87, here my two cents.

I feel like this from time to time. It’s been painful sometimes, but now I have a sort of interpretation that is more comfortable: I think it’s like a ladder with very high steps: when I climb one I feel happy, curious, excited. Then I stay on that step for some time and begin feeling bored, tired, stuck… and then, somehow, it happens that I climb another step and all starts again.

My wife (she’s a teacher) says that human learning isn’t continuous but instead it proceeds by steps and jumps. So now I think that when I feel uncomfortable with Go it’s because I’m unsatisfied about what I know and what I understand that I still don’t know… so I need to learn more and start playing with some new tool in my toolbox. Usually, just having something new to try out is very exciting and brings me to the next step of the ladder.

Hope this can help.
Oh, and also tournaments are slippery because of the amount of new games that suddenly and unpredictably open when a new round starts. I still can’t get used to this.

By the way, do you know “Aji’s quest”? :slight_smile:


Correspondence to me is a chore in the first place. Having to constantly wait for the opponent and checking back (thank goodness there’s email alert). Especially for correpondence tourneys that take a YEAR or two to finish. Live games on the other hand can be finished as quick as the time settings you choose.


Heh :smiley: Although I ONLY play corr. games it often feels the same for me.

I use this plugin:

:joy: IIRC I participate in at least one tournament that’s been going on for longer. Just be happy you’re not stuck in my skin :smiley:

Maybe it’s also a question of age? I’m sixty and I have a feeling I’m decelerating, and strongly so.


Also now there is an app that provides notifications. This is so good - now I only have to check back when my phone tells me there’s something worth looking at!

(The chrome plugin is also great, but it does require coming back to the desk to check, which the phone does not!)


Play 20 correspondence games simultaneously and turn off your email notification. No waiting…I guarantee you’ll have moves to make every time you get on OGS. :smiley_cat:


I can’t stop checking the games even tho I know there are no alerts. It’s a mix of anxiety of the email alerts not working and just a habit of checking the turn status and the possible move variations.

To me, having more time is a curse because I have more time to read, then fret over, re-read and constantly updating my auto-moves around 20 steps ahead or more for every variation I can think off so as to not only win, but make the opponent play faster to get it over with. Conditional moves (auto) also mean that I don’t get an alert till the end of the entire variation I set out. So if the guy played only halfway of what I’ve set in advance, I won’t get an alert because it’s still the opponent’s turn.

My first and only correspondence tourney took 2 years or 1 year plus. I swore off correspondence forever after that. Applaud your patience.


You might have chosen the wrong tourney - there are “fast” correspondence tourneys. But on the other hand, it sounds like correspondence play certainly isn’t for you.

But I feel your pain - I wish people would play less games, more quickly!


Even in corr games, the timer determines the pace Choose a quick corr timer, GaJ, and the game will be over in a couple days :wink:


But you don’t get to chose in ladder games or tourneys…


Choice is not to play them. :-))


Sure, I could also play lawn bowls instead of Go…


Dont play with the intention to win, play with the intention to improve. If you are looking primarily to win, then your emotions and ego will get in the way. You lose a game, then lose concentration and make bad mistakes the games proceeding. If you go in with the intention to improve, you play your best; if you lose, you consider it a lesson and not focused on the fact that you lost. Look at what your flaws are, look to see what needs to be done to improve (tsumego, videos that focus on where you messed up (midde game, etc.), etc.), then proceed from there. Sometimes you gotta take a break because if there are outside distractions (ongoing personal endeavors, etc.) then you are not going to be relaxed and focused enough to do your best. If you feel the need to want to do something to maintain until you start playing again, do a few problems here and there, or review old games, or just watch a few games here and there instead of focusing on playing and winning. I was stuck at 23-25kyu for a while, and often raged at my opponent like an immature person. Then i had to come to the realization that my opponent is just pointing out my flaws. Its up to me to improve on them if i want to get better. Took a break, studied my old games, and shot up to around 17/18 kyu. Had a few crappy games, gonna study them, do some problems, and watch the necessary beginner videos and take notes when i have a clear head and schedule. After that, rinse and repeat when its time. It sound like you have too much going on right now, or there is some stress somewhere in your life to be focused. Im rowing a similar boat. Like others have told me, take break from the goban, then come back when youre ready. Hope this helps a little.